December 21, 2023
BEIJING – Russian PM offers nation’s assistance in disaster relief
President Xi Jinping pledged support to the Russian people in choosing their own path of development on Wednesday, while calling for more robust bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, energy and connectivity.
During a meeting in Beijing with visiting Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Xi said the two nations should continue to enrich their bilateral cooperation by giving full play to the advantages of political mutual trust, economic complementarity, infrastructure connectivity and people-to-people exchanges.
He highlighted the need for joint efforts to safeguard the security and stability of industrial and supply chains.
The president hosted Mishustin, who is making his second visit to China this year for a regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government, at the Great Hall of the People. The two also met during Xi’s state visit to Russia in March.
Xi said the two nations have already met the target of increasing annual bilateral trade to $200 billion in the January-November period, a target set jointly by him and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which demonstrated the strong resilience and broad prospects of mutually beneficial cooperation.
He stressed that upholding and building up bilateral ties was the strategic choice made by both sides based on the fundamental interests of their peoples.
Xi expressed Beijing’s readiness to work with Moscow to take the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year as a new starting point to continuously expand the positive effects of the high-level political relationship.
In doing so, both nations can continue to jointly move forward in the process of comprehensively promoting economic and social development and realizing national rejuvenation, he added.
Xi underlined the strong resilience, vast potential and broad room for maneuver of the Chinese economy, saying that its long-term positive fundamentals remain unchanged.
He reiterated Beijing’s commitment to promoting high-quality development and high-level opening-up, which he said will provide new opportunities for the development of all countries, including Russia.
The president called for joint efforts to ensure that the China-Russia Cultural Year in 2024 and 2025 is a success, including steps to design and carry out a variety of rich and colorful cultural and people-to-people exchange activities.
The goal is to consolidate social and public support for the everlasting friendship between the two countries, he explained.
The Russian prime minister stressed Moscow’s readiness to further tap into potential and expand cooperation in areas such as trade, energy and connectivity.
He conveyed the condolences of the Russian government and people to Xi regarding the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that struck Gansu and Qinghai provinces late on Monday night, saying that Russia is willing to provide rescue assistance as needed.
Xi expressed his gratitude, saying that President Putin and many foreign leaders sent messages of condolences after the earthquake.
China is making every effort to carry out rescue efforts and is doing its best to protect the lives and property of the people, he said, adding that the rescue forces and materials in the disaster-stricken areas are sufficient, and the basic well-being of local residents has been guaranteed.
The people in the affected areas will surely be able to overcome the disaster and rebuild their homes under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, he added.
Xu Poling, director of the department of Russian economy of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the high level of ties and strong political mutual trust between Beijing and Moscow have been evident in the frequent meetings between leaders from both countries.
He explained that trade between the two nations has grown exponentially and become more balanced, adding that bilateral trade could reach a historic high of $230 billion this year.
“There is even greater room for bilateral cooperation in industrial goods and supply chains,” he said.